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Softball-sized hail in Colorado and Nebraska injures at least 14, kills 3 zoo birds

August 7, 2018

Powerful storms swept out of the mountains and onto the Plains Monday, causing significant damage and injuries in Colorado and serious damage in Nebraska.

At least 14 people were injured and at least three birds were killed in a hail storm at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, according to the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

“It was hail the size I’ve never seen before,” Jenny Koch, the zoo’s marketing director, told The Denver Post. “Basically chunks of ice. ... It’s frightening.”

In western Nebraska, 2-inch hail carried on winds sometimes reaching 60 mph caused significant damage in populated areas, notably Lisco and Oshkosh, where windows, siding and cars were battered.

In Oshkosh, most north-facing windows were broken by hail, and there was one report of an injury when hail shattered a window, said Kerri Krauter, dispatcher for Garden County.

Three- to four-inch hail was reported in the Grant and Big Springs areas.

In eastern Nebraska, Utica appears to have sustained significant damage from a hail storm, based on reports to the weather service. The hail storm also stripped some trees, corn and soybeans of their leaves, according to reports to the weather service.

Other areas of the state were hit by hail, and there were also reports of some wind damage.

Rainfall totals in inches for the 24 hours ending at 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service office in Valley:

Albion, .06; Alliance, .03; Aurora, .07; Broken Bow, .01; Chadron, trace; Beatrice, trace; Blair, trace; Falls City, trace; Gordon, .07; Grand Island, .12; Hastings, .26; Hebron, .03; Holdrege, .11; Imperial, .02; Kearney, .38; Lexington, .50; McCook, .01; North Platte, .07; Ogallala, .31; Ord, .14; Scottsbluff, .01; Sidney, .26; Valentine, .06; York, .10; Fremont, .01; Lincoln, .18; Nebraska City, .08; Norfolk, .04; Offutt Air Force Base, .06; Eppley Airfield, .04; Millard, .05; Plattsmouth, .22; Tekamah, .34; Valley, .02; Wahoo, .02; Wayne, .01; Council Bluffs, .07; Clarinda, .04; Harlan, trace; Red Oak, trace; Shenandoah, .03.

This report includes material from the Associated Press.

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